Thursday, August 23, 2007

23rd August
In the interval between coming home from hospital and now, I seem to be reflecting with uneasy frequency on the fact that there are so many common sayings linked to the heart. 'Losing heart', 'taking heart' 'disheartened', 'faint hearted'. And others linked to the latin root: 'take courage', 'lose courage' 'encourage' 'discourage'...
And I can't help but notice that they all are linked to the physical heart.
That this metaphor is based on strong observation.
At least, so it seems to me, having suffered from, and still struggling against, all the 'weak-hearted' conditions.
Of losing heart, being discouraged. Not having my heart in it (in living, that is).
There's a kind of cruelty to this condition, just as there is to every negative condition we suffer from: in the sense that it creates the conditions that worsen it.
So it becomes harder to do the simple jobs: washing, tidying, keeping the house in order.
And then with the house in disorder, it all gets more depressing.
And harder to emerge from it.
And that's the other ratchet to the spiral: that the very things that would help us emerge are also the very things that feel utterly impossible to do.
A simple phone call to a caring friend.
Just getting out the house...
The other night it took me all my will and strength to go out, get on my bike, and cycle to a concert for which I already had a ticket.
Even the small cycle ride across town to the Usher Hall seemed to give me strength.
And then the concert itself gave me more: Haydn's Creation, which I had never managed to listen to all the way through before.
It's such an amazing affirmation of the beauty of the world and the amazing potential within each human being.
I found huge happiness just in being there and witnessing it.

The beauty of these pieces in themselves is importan, yes, but perhaps what is also important is that we are witnessing a pretty amazing act of human solidarity and co-operation. I mean the act of practising together, working together to make the performance happen.
And even though that act is unspoken and uncelebrated - completely taken for granted in fact - its existence still communicates itself to us at a subliminal level and helps lift our spirits.

And maybe that's helped me, in turn, overcome my discouragement and write this (tentatively hopeful) entry.


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